Skip To Main Content

Nav Desktop Menu

Lower School

Lower Schoolers playing in the block room
Interim Lower School Head Melanie Hutchinson

Welcome

Collegiate School’s Lower School is a place of wonder, joy, and learning.  A world where excited and wide-eyed kindergarten students become skilled, confident, and curious fourth graders. As the students bounce into school, they are eager to rise to the challenges that will be presented in meaningful and creative ways throughout the day. Our job is not to mold these students, but to inspire them to flourish; we aim to stretch and support each according to his needs. 

Crucial to academic success are the feelings of community, belonging, and safety. Each homeroom is a warm environment where the students are known and  listened to and where social emotional learning is tended to. Students learn to collaborate, be empathetic, and appreciate differences. Community in the Lower School is an essential part of the experience for our students and faculty. Faculty collaborate on divisional and school–wide projects, the fourth graders guide their buddies in kindergarten, small reading groups perform readers’ theater to their excited peers, and third graders invite others to play their scratch games. 

Lower School students are ambitious, capable, and joyful; each is unique and deserves to be part of a purposeful and rich learning community. 

Melanie Hutchinson
Interim Lower School Head

Why Our Lower School?

Our Lower School is Kindergarten through fourth grade with two homerooms at each grade level and a team of four teachers (one head and one associate in each room). The teachers work closely together to deliver a rich and engaging curriculum. With the help of reading and math specialists, students regularly work in tailored small groups. Students visit specialist classes for Art, Music, Drama, Library, Science, and Technology. 

Kindergarten and first grade are located on the second floor where classrooms surround a block and play center. This welcoming and contained area is perfect for our youngest students. Our second, third, and fourth grade are on the third floor and classrooms also surround a center with work space, breakout rooms, and a technology hub. 

Just as our boys are learners, so too are the teachers. Working in grade level teams or as a divisional faculty, the curriculum is regularly reviewed and modified. Working with specialists, the students' needs are always at the center of conversations to help ensure every boy finds personal success and is prepared for the Middle School experience.

A librarian reading to kindergarten boys

What we offer to students

Our Curriculum

Our rich Lower School curriculum builds from grade to grade in a developmentally appropriate way. Within each grade the teachers make connections across the subjects. Please select the grade you wish to explore. 
Art - First Grade

Students explore a variety of two and three-dimensional media. In drawing and painting, the focus is on composing imagery using lines and shapes. In printmaking and ceramics, the students will investigate how texture is created. In sculpture and collage, they will learn various paper folding and cutting techniques. In fiber arts, they will compose intricate visual patterns.

Art - Fourth Grade

The fourth grade art program encourages invention as well as the development of manual skills through two and three-dimensional media. We engage in drawing, ceramics, painting, printmaking, and design to explore both ideas and techniques. A major focus is the proportions and gestures of the human figure. Connections to art history are interwoven throughout our projects.

Art - K

The students explore a variety of two and three-dimensional media. In drawing and painting, the focus is on composing imagery using lines and shapes. In printmaking and ceramics, the student investigates how texture is created. In sculpture and collage, they learn paper folding and cutting techniques. The students are encouraged to take risks and make new discoveries. 

Art - Second Grade

Students explore a variety of two and three-dimensional media. In drawing and painting, the focus is on composing imagery using lines and shapes. In ceramics, the students investigate textures and modeling. In sculpture and collage, they learn various paper folding and cutting techniques. In fiber arts, they will compose an intricate visual pattern when weaving with paper and learn to create images with stitchery.

Art - Third Grade

Students explore a variety of two and three-dimensional media. In drawing and painting, the focus is on composing imagery using accurate proportions and realistic portrait drawing. In ceramics, the students investigate relief by using sculptural methods in clay. In painting, they explore mixing values and color relationships. While collaging and printmaking, the students explore how colors layer and build upon one another.

Library - First Grade

The library program instills a love of reading, to inspire critical thinking, and to help the students become effective users of ideas and information. Students have one library class per week where stories are read aloud, books are selected, and research skills are taught in conjunction with the classroom curriculum.  

Library - Fourth Grade

Our library program instills a love of reading, to inspire critical thinking, and to help the students become effective users of ideas and information. Students have one library class per week where stories are read aloud, books are selected, and research skills are taught in conjunction with the classroom curriculum.  

Library - K

Our library program instills a love of reading, to inspire critical thinking, and to help the students become effective users of ideas and information. Students have one library class per week where stories are read aloud, books are selected, and research skills are taught in conjunction with the classroom curriculum. 

Library - Second Grade

Our library program instills a love of reading, to inspire critical thinking, and to help the students become effective users of ideas and information. Students have one library class per week where stories are read aloud, books are selected, and research skills are taught in conjunction with the classroom curriculum. 

Library - Third Grade

 Our library program instills a love of reading, to inspire critical thinking, and to help the students become effective users of ideas and information. Students have one library class per week where stories are read aloud, books are selected, and research skills are taught in conjunction with the classroom curriculum.  

two students reading a book together in the library
Lower School Highlights

Our Library

Each week students visit the Lower School library where they learn about its operation and about research, while also having the opportunity to browse the collection and comfortably huddle over books with friends.

Lower School students running in the courtyard
Lower School Highlights

Outdoor Activities

Fresh air and exercise are an important part of each day for our youngest learners. Luckily we have a courtyard, a roof deck and a variety of local playgrounds to visit.

a fourth grader and two kindergarteners working on a project
Lower School Highlights

Buddies

One of the highlights of fourth grade is participation in the Kindergarten Buddy program. This activity pairs fourth graders with our youngest lower school learners; these “buddies” meet regularly to do various activities building strong relationships that last throughout their time at Collegiate.

A student rolling a tire as part of field day
Lower School Highlights

Field Day

One end-of-year celebration is Field Day. The boys participate in a range of physical challenges in mixed age group teams. 

parents visiting a second grade classroom for NYC Day
Lower School Highlights

Class Presentations 

Parents are regularly invited into the classroom to be an audience as the boys proudly demonstrate their learning with end of unit projects and presentations.